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The rapid reproducers paradox: population control and individual procreative rights.

Authors
  • Wissenburg, M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental politics
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
7
Issue
2
Pages
78–99
Identifiers
PMID: 12295046
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This article argues that population policies need to be evaluated from macro and micro perspectives and to consider individual rights. Ecological arguments that are stringent conditions of liberal democracy are assessed against a moral standard. The moral standard is applied to a series of reasons for limiting procreative rights in the cause of sustainability. The focus is directly on legally enforced antinatalist measures and not on indirect policies with incentives and disincentives. The explicit assumption is that population policy violates the fairness to individuals for societal gain and that population policies are incompatible with stringent conditions of liberal democracy. The author identifies the individual-societal tradeoff as the "rapid reproducers paradox." The perfect sustainable population level is either not possible or is a repugnant alternative. 12 ecological arguments are presented, and none are found compatible with notions of a liberal democracy. Three alternative antinatalist options are the acceptance of less rigid and still coercive policies, amendments to the conception of liberal democracy, or loss of hope and choice of noncoercive solutions to sustainability, none of which is found viable. If voluntary abstinence and distributive solutions fail, then frugal demand options and technological supply options both will be necessary.

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